Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft operated by the US Marine Corps crashed in Northern Australia during an exercise on August 27, 2023.
Three marines have been reported killed in the crash. Five others have been injured and are in said to be in serious condition at a hospital in the city of Darwin [this paragraph has been updated as new information has become available, an earlier report of the crash mentioned only three injured – Note ed.].
The aircraft was taking part in exercise Predator’s Run 2023 and was carrying 23 US marines at the time of the accident, which took place on or near Melville Island, off Darwin, Northern Australia.
Exercise Predator’s Run 2023 is a 12-day combined arms military exercise that focuses on littoral defense. It gathered some 750 troops from Australia, the US, the Philippines and other allied countries from the region.
The V-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor military transport aircraft, which can take-off and land vertically while transitioning to cruise in horizontal flight, like a fixed winged aircraft.
The Osprey’s safety record has been the object of public controversy in the past, since during the its long testing and development phase, which extended from the early 1990s to 2007, the aircraft suffered a string of fatal accidents. Overall, and up until the this latest accident in Australia, there had been 13 incidents resulting in a total hull loss, with a total of 51 fatalities recorded.